Newtown High School’s girls’ and boys’ cross country teams had tough tests in visit to Pomperaug of Southbury to take on the host Panthers, as well as Brookfield and New Milford, on September 16. The girls won two races, handling Brookfield 15-50 and edging New Milford 27-32, and fell 32-23 to Pomperaug. The boys, meanwhile, dropped two of three, getting past Brookfield in a tight outcome, 28-30, and falling 41-18 to New Milford and 29-27 in a nail-biter to Pomperaug.
The new-look Nighthawks, who graduated a bulk of their regulars last year, opened the season with a tough test against Woodstock Academy on September 10, and fell 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 26-24). Newtown got into the win column the next day with a 3-1 (25-4, 25-10, 22-25, 25-14) victory at New Fairfield in the team’s first South-West Conference match of the year.
A couple of ties, followed by a tough-to-swallow loss to begin the season, left Coach Marc Kenney talking to his Newtown High School girls’ soccer team members, perhaps for the longest of the postgame evaluations that will take place this fall. Kenney hopes so, as he seeks consistency and quick development from his new-look squad this campaign. Newtown had just dropped a 3-2 decision to Bethel at Treadwell Park on September 16. The Nighthawks showed fight. They erased a 2-0 deficit to tie the score, but that comeback effort was of little consolation for Kenney, who believes his team flat-out got outworked in this contest.
First-year starting quarterback Jacob “Boots” Burden showed no signs of jitters in helping the Newtown High School football team to a convincing opening week victory. Burden tossed a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another score in Newtown’s 47-18 win over the host New Milford Green Wave on September 12. The victory gave the Nighthawks the Boot Trophy — awarded to the winner of this matchup each time the South-West Conference rivals meet — for the eighth straight time dating back to 2002.
Members of the back-to-back South-West Conference champion Newtown High School football team have three-peat on their radar, but they’re also hoping for even more playoff success this fall. A state title has been on the minds of the coaches and players, and they believe that with the right work ethic, winning both championships is well within reach. “There’s never a year I start the season where I don’t think that,” Coach Steve George said. “I expect to win.” That said, the coach really won’t look past the upcoming week’s game and the opponent, and that approach rubs off on his players.
Coming off South-West Conference championship seasons a year ago, Newtown High School’s dance and cheerleading squads are back for more postseason success this year. The dancers look forward to performing at halftime of football games this fall, and the cheerleaders are excited to get the crowd going from the sideline, as well as on the field during halftime demonstrations as they work toward their own postseason competitions. The dance team, coached by Cheryl Stenz, has the motto “New Team, Same Dream,” as the fall campaign gets underway. The cheer squad, in addition to earning the SWC championship, came in third in the state competition a year ago.
The Newtown High School Boys Soccer team kicked off the regular season at Blue and Gold Stadium on September 10 with a 4-0 win over the Bunnell Bulldogs. The Nighthawks played a strong game on both sides of the ball as standout captains Blake Jarvis and Clay Gattey led the offensive charge all night long.
NYA Sports & Fitness is hosting a free open house for area residents to provide an opportunity for adults to experience the total wellness program offered by the facility. The open house is scheduled for Monday, September 15, through Sunday, September 21.
The graduation of six team members who saw regular playing time last fall hasn’t prevented Tom Czaplinski, coach of the Newtown High School girls’ volleyball team, from maintaining his always-high expectations: To improve upon the previous year’s record and again be in the hunt to win South-West Conference and state titles, if not win one or both of those championships. Pressed into the need to rely on some new faces to step up and play key roles, Newtown has a path to success that certainly doesn’t look like an easy one from the outside. But Czaplinski has high hopes — and confidence in his team.